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Twitchy Steering?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by x2468, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. Oct 26, 2011 at 9:53 PM
    #1
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Alright, i'll be the first to admit that I have a tendency to over analyze things, and I may be doing that here. But it seems like my Taco's steering is a bit twitchy, or overly sensitive. For example, down here in florida we have a lot of these reflectors bulging out of the road, and it seems like my Taco transmits more through the steering wheel than any other car i've driven when hitting these tiny road obstacles. I also find myself having to correct the steering a lot of particularly windy days, often over-correcting because it's so sensitive. It just seems like i constantly have to make these tiny adjustments to keep it in line, and the frequency goes up as i get on the highway. If it were a motorcycle I'd consider putting a steering damper on it but I don't know if there is a comparable product for trucks. Maybe it's nothing and im just being picky? or maybe there is something that needs to be replaced that I'm unaware of?
     
  2. Oct 26, 2011 at 9:59 PM
    #2
    scocar

    scocar being weird again....still

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    You lifted it. This changes steering geometry. The stock caster is maxed out. This makes it more sensitive at higher speeds, and requires more attention to stay in line. Same with mine.

    Adjustable (or uniball) UCAs will fix this (Light Racing UCAs are next on my list).

    Deeper into the black hole...
     
  3. Oct 26, 2011 at 10:01 PM
    #3
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but when it hit holes in the road, or things that stick out, i feel the tires moving left and right. Sometimes I need to help them get back in line. It's raised some mental red flags.
     
  4. Oct 26, 2011 at 10:02 PM
    #4
    Digiratus

    Digiratus Adventurer

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    It could be front wheel alignment. If the caster setting is below 2 degrees positive, these truck will have a bit of bumpsteer. Do you have a lift?

    edit: scocar beat me to it. Yeah, what he ^^^ said.
     
  5. Oct 26, 2011 at 10:03 PM
    #5
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    eesh.... i see. didn't think it would be needed with only 1'25-ish lift in the front.
     
  6. Oct 26, 2011 at 10:03 PM
    #6
    scocar

    scocar being weird again....still

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    Yes, I believe that is a bit of bump steer, caused by same.
     
  7. Oct 26, 2011 at 10:04 PM
    #7
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    just 881s
     
  8. Oct 26, 2011 at 10:05 PM
    #8
    scocar

    scocar being weird again....still

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    Me neither. Mine is close to 1.75 lift (from where it was, anyway). I find it tiring on long road trips.
     
  9. Oct 26, 2011 at 10:06 PM
    #9
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Now that i think about it, I think we had a few PMs about this subject scocar back when both our springs were new and still settling.
     
  10. Oct 26, 2011 at 10:09 PM
    #10
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    mine was level with the rear AAL when i first got it but now that it's settled with a little bit of a rake again. So im not sure exactly how much lift I got. it doesn't look like too much.

    Ya, it being tiring is exactly why i decided to make a thread on it. I had heard of steering bushings going out on these trucks and wasn't sure what the symptoms could be. Luckily on all my LONG trips i had a lot of weight in the bed, and that kept it calm.
     
  11. Oct 26, 2011 at 10:10 PM
    #11
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So UCAs are the fix? can't change the castor any other way with the lift?
     
  12. Oct 26, 2011 at 10:12 PM
    #12
    Digiratus

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    It really depends on the actual alignment results. And unfortunately, some techs that do the alignment take the position that it'll be good enough when in fact they could be better.

    I've seen chris4x4 state over and over again that the ideal numbers are:

    toe = 0 degrees
    camber = 0 degrees
    caster = 2.4 (or higher) degrees
     
  13. Oct 26, 2011 at 10:18 PM
    #13
    x2468

    x2468 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    hmm. well i never had an alignment done. After i put in the new struts and springs i took it on the highway, let go of the wheel. it went straight as an arrow for like a 10th of a mile, same as before i put in the lift, so i figured i was good.
     
  14. Oct 26, 2011 at 10:46 PM
    #14
    scocar

    scocar being weird again....still

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    Get the alignment.
     
  15. Nov 1, 2011 at 1:23 PM
    #15
    scocar

    scocar being weird again....still

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    Hey, check this out. My knowledge just got bigger. DON'T BUY UCAs yet!

    So I got me "new" wheels mounted and decided to get an alignment, too, too see if they could improve the caster with my 881 setup. I told them to crank the caster as close to possible as max spec (2.5 degrees), but that I know that because it is lifted, spec. may not be possible.

    Well they could. 2.5 degrees. Holy crap. So it turns out you just need to be specific and insistent, or they might just do a toe-and-go-alignment. Or, it depends on the technician's skill/work ethic.

    Anyhoo, twitchy wandering gone. No UCAs needed. This makes sense after such a mild (~2 in.) lift.

    The truck tracks better, and in strong crosswinds that conveniently showed up today, it is much less subject to being pushed around.

    So, get the alignment and tell them to crank the caster!
     
  16. Nov 1, 2011 at 2:28 PM
    #16
    NegroTundra

    NegroTundra Well-Known Member

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    Good deal scocar...I told my alignment tech the same thing but he insisted that too much caster with my lift would compromise camber and would not be good for my tires. So he left it up to me...slightly annoying steering with good tire wear or nice steering with risk of cupping tires quickly. I opted to deal with the steering issue. Did your guy tell you anything about this?
     
  17. Nov 1, 2011 at 4:54 PM
    #17
    scocar

    scocar being weird again....still

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    No, he did not...:confused:. Maybe I need a new tech? Sheesh, why does this have to be so complicated? Thanks for the heads-up. Time to read up on alignments again and keep an eye on the tire wear.

    I'm never modding my truck again. Until this weekend.
     
  18. Nov 1, 2011 at 6:17 PM
    #18
    Nobody16

    Nobody16 Active Member

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    Lift, Tires, Wheels, Sliders, Exhaust, CB...All I need is 4WD
  19. Nov 1, 2011 at 6:30 PM
    #19
    racerxtaco

    racerxtaco Well-Known Member

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    doesn't some of the "twitchyness" in our trucks steering originate from bad steering rack bushings or that horrible safety slip joint in the steering shaft in the column?
     
  20. Nov 1, 2011 at 6:46 PM
    #20
    NegroTundra

    NegroTundra Well-Known Member

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    Hey thats a great thread that everybody should do. I did that mod about a year ago and "rattle" is gone! However it is unrelated to the twitchy'ness issue that I'm talking about, at least.
     
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